Publish America, LLP

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Publish America is a Maryland-based book publisher founded in 1999 by Lawrence Alvin "Larry" Clopper III and Willem Meiners. It has been the subject of controversy because it has been accused of being a vanity press or author mill by some writers and authors' advocates despite its claims to be a "traditional" advance- and royalty-paying publisher. [1]

Services Offered

Publish America pays a "small" (US$1 [2]) advance to its authors, and claims to pay all the expenses involved with acquiring, producing, manufacturing, and publishing a book. [3]

Official Site

Publish America


Critics argue that Publish America presents itself as a traditional house, but acts like a vanity publisher. Writers who contacted Publisher's Weekly in 2004 had complained that Publish America sells books to which it no longer holds the rights, offers authors only a 30% discount, doesn't pay royalties it owes, engages in slipshod editing and copyediting, sets unreasonable list prices (national average for a trade paperback is $16, PublishAmerica's is closer to $20 [4]), and makes little effort in getting books into bookstores. [5] On average, data indicates Publish America sells less than 100 copies of each title. [6]

While Publish America doesn't charge for printing the books, it does require authors to provide a list of friends and family, and then markets to them heavily, according to the authors. [7]


In 2004, after a representative of Publish America made derogatory remarks about the genre of Science fiction, a host of well-known sci-fi writers, headed by James D Macdonald conspired to prove the publisher a vanity press.[8] At the time, the house claimed to reject 80% of all manuscripts submitted.

The result was a 41-chapter novel where each chapter was written by a separate author, except for 17 (repeat of Chapter 4), Chapter 21 (missing), and Chapter 34 (written by the Bonzai Story Generator). Authors worked from a loose outline that included an "it was all a dream" ending, and were encouraged to include "obvious grammatical errors and nonsensical passages". [9]

The manuscript was accepted for publication on 7 December 2004 without comment, despite the claim made by Publish America that "We read every single submission before we accept or refuse."

The Manuscript can be read here: Altanta Nights (Warning: PDF)

And the history (including the acceptance letter) is available at: The Critter's PublishAmerica page.